1:1-16 This prophecy is against Edom. Its destruction seems to have been typical, as their father Esau's rejection; and to refer to the destruction of the enemies of the gospel church. See the prediction of the success of that war; Edom shall be spoiled, and brought down. All the enemies of God's church shall be disappointed in the things they stay themselves on. God can easily lay those low who magnify and exalt themselves; and will do it. Carnal security ripens men for ruin, and makes the ruin worse when it comes. Treasures on earth cannot be so safely laid up but that thieves may break through and steal; it is therefore our wisdom to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Those that make flesh their trust, arm it against themselves. The God of our covenant will never deceive us: but if we trust men with whom we join ourselves, it may prove to us a wound and dishonour. God will justly deny those understanding to keep out of danger, who will not use their understandings to keep out of sin. All violence, all unrighteousness, is sin; but it makes the violence far worse, if it be done against any of God's people. Their barbarous conduct towards Judah and Jerusalem, is charged upon them. In reflecting on ourselves, it is good to consider what we should have done; to compare our practice with the Scripture rule. Sin, thus looked upon in the glass of the commandment, will appear exceedingly sinful. Those have a great deal to answer for, who are idle spectators of the troubles of their neighbours, when able to be active helpers. Those make themselves poor, who think to make themselves rich by the ruin of the people of God; and those deceive themselves, who call all that their own on which they can lay their hands in a day of calamity. Though judgment begins at the house of God, it shall not end there. Let sorrowful believers and insolent oppressors know, that the troubles of the righteous will soon end, but those of the wicked will be eternal.
7. Men of thy confederacy—that is, thy confederates.
brought thee … to the border—that is, when Idumean ambassadors shall go to confederate states seeking aid, these latter shall conduct them with due ceremony to their border, giving them empty compliments, but not the aid required [Drusius]. This view agrees with the context, which speaks of false friends deceiving Edom: that is, failing to give help in need (compare Job 6:14, 15). Calvin translates, "have driven," that is, shall drive thee; shall help to drive thee to thy border on thy way into captivity in foreign lands.
the men that were at peace with thee—literally, "the men of thy peace." Compare Ps 41:9; Jer 38:22, Margin, where also the same formula occurs, "prevailed against thee."
they that eat thy bread—the poorer tribes of the desert who subsisted on the bounty of Edom. Compare again Ps 41:9, which seems to have been before Obadiah's mind, as his words were before Jeremiah's.
have laid a wound under thee—"laid" implies that their intimacy was used as a SNARE laid with a view to wound; also, these guest friends of Edom, instead of the cushions ordinarily laid under guests at table, laid snares to wound, that is, had a secret understanding with Edom's foe for that purpose. Maurer translates, "a snare." But English Version agrees with the Hebrew, which means, literally, "a bandage for a wound."
none understanding—none of the wisdom for which Edom was famed (see Ob 8) to extricate him from his perilous position.
in him—instead of "in thee." The change implies the alienation of God from Edom: Edom has so estranged himself from God, that He speaks now of him, not to him.